Housing and planning
Housing and planning

Everyone should have access to a safe, good quality and affordable home. Yet we know that sadly this is not the reality for many. The housing market in this country is broken and its impacts are far-reaching. Here in Medway, too many residents are paying extortionate levels of rent to live in homes that are not fit for purpose; too many cannot afford to buy their own property, an opportunity that was available to generations before them; and too many have been failed by a system that has resulted in them sofa-surfing, living in temporary accommodation or sleeping rough.

Housing and planning
Housing and planning

Support the development of sustainable communities and new homes to meet Medway’s growing housing need by:

  • Adopting and implementing the Local Plan, as well as prioritising development on brownfield over greenfield sites
  • Ensuring that new large-scale developments are meeting infrastructure needs
  • Accessing national and regional bids for infrastructure delivery
  • Setting out clear guidelines for the use of S.106 funds (developer contributions to a local area) to ensure they properly benefit the community
House building
House building

Increase the delivery of genuinely affordable homes and set targets for social housing delivery by:

  • Setting new ambitious – but achievable – targets for the delivery of affordable homes and social housing; which are at least 30% of the overall development
  • Creating requirements for developers to publish their viability studies, if these targets are not met
  • Using opportunities created by the lifting of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) cap, a specific pot of money ring-fenced to manage council housing, to build more council houses
Rental sector
Rental sector

Review the rental sector in Medway and create better protections against unscrupulous landlords and bad tenants by:

  • Setting up a Medway letting agency so that landlords can avoid the high charges from private lettings agencies and tenants can get a fairer deal
  • Creating a landlord licensing scheme to review and improve Medway landlord and tenant accreditation schemes
  • Influencing national policy to drive forward private rented sector reform
  • Introducing a new private renters’ charter, setting out renters’ rights and responsibilities, as well as Medway Council’s powers to intervene
  • Setting up a new housing advice hotline and online service to improve support for private renters and those at risk of homelessness

Tackle homelessness and the causes of homelessness by:

  • Supporting and extending the Housing First programme
  • Working closely with local community groups, local providers and organisations to review what is working and what isn’t
  • Scrap the three days below zero temperature baseline, set out in the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) guidance
  • Considering opportunities to use empty council properties as homeless shelters
  • Develop a robust programme to bring empty properties back into use

Medway Labour’s housing spokesperson is Cllr Naushabah Khan.
Medway Labour’s planning spokesperson is Cllr Nick Bowler.

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